The synergistic response of cells to the stimulation of multiple receptors has been ascribed to receptor cross talk; however, the specific molecules that mediate the resultant signal amplification have not been defined. Here a 24-kilodalton single transmembrane protein, designated calcyon, we functionally characterize that interacts with the D1 dopamine receptor. Calcyon localizes to dendritic spines of D1 receptor-expressing pyramidal cells in prefrontal cortex. These studies delineate a mechanism of G(q)- and G(s)-coupled heterotrimeric GTP-binding protein-coupled receptor cross talk by which D1 receptors can shift effector coupling to stimulate robust intracellular calcium (Ca2+(i)) release as a result of interaction with calcyon. The role of calcyon in potentiating Ca2+-dependent signaling should provide insight into the D1 receptor-modulated cognitive functions of prefrontal cortex.
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